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Saturday, September 3, 2011

High Calorie Diets: Why Avoiding Too Many Calories is so Important

By Jim Duffy

According to studies, the percentage of adults who qualify as obese is standing at 35% in the United States. Having said that, it is important to note that there are even more people who, while technically not obese, are overweight and even more who are within five to ten pounds of entering one or the other of those categories at any one point in their adult lives.

The diet and weight loss industry is one that earns billions of dollars and every year there are trials and studies related to new diet pills or a new diet plan. The entire problem becomes obvious, while there are some people who may be gaining some of this weight because they have medical conditions or because of the medications that they are taking, there are many more who are simply eating high calorie diets and subsequently gaining weight. There are serious needs to avoid these types of diets because it is not always about eating certain foods at certain times or about avoiding entire categories of foods- it is more about being reasonable about the number of calories that you consume each day.

Determining Your Realistic Calorie Needs

Everyone has a different calorie need- someone may have a similar range of calories, say they fit in the 1200-1500 calorie range, but they each have individual needs. If you are in the 1200 range but sticking to the 1500 end of that range, then you might be eating a high calorie diet and will either stall or stop completely. So, you know that you fall into a certain range of calories but there are ways of learning what your approximate calorie count should be.

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR): multiply your desired weight in pounds by 8 and add 200. Warning: this is not exact, only an approximate assessment of the RMR

To find out how many calories you burn daily during exercise, etc: multiply light exercise minutes (walking, etc.) by 4 and cardio or strength exercise by 8. If you work out on machines with readouts, you can also get a rough idea of calorie burn by those. Remember that these machines, while good , are not going to give you an exact number to work with.

The reason that these two numbers are important is simple: from there, you can get a very good idea of how many calories you need. There is a number for how many calories that you need to maintain your current weight as well as the number of calories that you need to lose weight. A high calorie diet may be one that is only a few numbers above what you need for weight maintenance but will still lead to weight gain. Even as few as 100 extra calories per day can lead to weight gain- it is a delicate balance that your body must accomplish between calories in and calories out.

For most people, the difference between weight maintenance and weight loss can be around 500 calories per day to lose a pound of weight a week. If you want to split that number between diet and exercise, you only decrease the amount you are eating by 250 and increase the number of calories you burn through exercise by 250 to equal 500. In theory, you can up your calorie burn by exercise alone, however in practice, most people overestimate their actual time and exertion- if you can still carry on a full conversation, you are not working very hard or at least, not hard enough. That is not to say that you have to work yourself to the point of utter breathlessness either.

In addition to knowing the number of calories that you are burning through exercise and how many calories that you are eating or should be eating, you should also have an idea of your target heart rate and how that impacts the type of exercise that you are doing. Counteracting the effects of a high calorie diet can be as simple as hitting your target heart rate for around ten minutes at a time. (Target heart rate: 220 minus your age in years). Some machines have heart rate monitors and will show you the target that you are reaching toward and will signal when you slip below or climb above that number.

** (All above Formulas: Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz)

The Dangers of a High Calorie Diet

Obviously, the most serious of the dangers of a high calorie diet is weight gain, but there can be other problems as well. A high calorie diet may also be one that is high in fats and cholesterol or could be one that is high in sodium, preservatives or processed with harmful chemicals. It is almost impossible to eat many of the really healthy foods, it is only when you start making bad choices or including other foods that your diet starts getting high in calories.

That is not to say that many healthy foods are not higher in calories, because they are and should be eaten in small quantities only. For instance, the avocado is healthy and a good source of the good kinds of fat, however it is high in calories.

Weight gain can increase your risk of a number of conditions including heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and some cancers. It can also be hard on your joints and can make you feel older and more tired so you are also more likely to become depressed as well.

Using a Protein Supplement to Counteract a High Calorie Diet

Protein is one of the most important of the macronutrients for a number of reasons. First, it is more slowly digested by the body and also leads to a higher energy burn overall. The body also needs protein for every cell and function that it performs. A protein supplement, like Profect from Protica can be a perfect way to keep from having too many calories in the attempt to get all of the nutrition that you need each day.

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